Category Archives: Adventures

We amplify our joy when we share it with others.


Me, running to the water, Stinson Beach, CA

Me/Andrea in the water at Stinson Beach, photo by John Nieto

Me/Andrea in the water at Stinson Beach, photo by John Nieto


Me jumping at Stinson Beach, photo by John Nieto

I’ve been craving the ocean for days, feeling melancholy and drained. For me, the best and only antidote is the ocean. I’m a California girl through and through, born in Los Angeles and grew up in Santa Cruz. The ocean is in my bones and has been my constant companion (and healer) for as long as I can remember. There is nothing on earth that rearranges me like walking for hours in the sand, feeling the water lap at my feet.

Yesterday, when I saw the forecast was 80 degrees, it occurred to me that I work for myself! And that I could make the hour drive to the beach just like that. No need to ask permission. (I sometimes forget this) I collected my dear, old friend John and off we went.

Rock I found at the beach with a face

Rock we found at the beach with a face

We walked barefoot and took photos. We combed the beach for seaglass and beautiful rocks. We found one with a remarkable face! and John told me about a time when he was at Ocean Beach and found dozens of baby sand dollars, all perfect and unbroken, strewn all over the sand. The image enchanted me and I silently wished for tiny sand dollars to appear. Within minutes, I found the tiniest sand dollar imaginable. It was the size of my fingernail! Then I found another and another… they were everywhere.

As we walked back, I did a ritual. I wrote the names of all the people in my life who need healing right now. (There are a lot of them) I sent each of them blessings and asked the ocean to help…

Baby sand dollar

Baby sand dollar

Amplifying our joy

We can amplify our positive emotions by sharing them – our gratitude, our joy and our well-being. My joy was amplified by sharing it with John yesterday. My gratitude + well-being were amplified by the simple ritual of sending love + healing prayers out to friends. We can amplify our appreciation by having a gratitude buddy and sharing lists each day.

This morning, when I told one of the other moms at the bus stop that I played hooky and went to Stinson beach, her eyes got big. “That is so inspiring!” she beamed. As I shared more about our day, she got more and more excited. “Thank you for sharing that,” she told me. “You are encouraging me to do this for myself this week!” I walked away smiling, my own joy amplified…

And so I share this with you as well. A reminder to do something healing for yourself, something that makes you come alive this weekend. Share it and watch it ripple out to everyone you touch.


The amazing John Nieto, Stinson Beach, CA


John Nieto jumping, Stinson Beach


Total love affair with California.

Ben at Asilomar beach

Ben at Asilomar beach

Matt + Nico on the boardwalk, Asilomar

Matt + Nico on the boardwalk, Asilomar


Nico laughing with Matt, Asilomar State Beach


Nico + Ben in the sand


Windy Nico, Asilomar State Beach


Selfie on the way to Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, CA


The Big Sur coastline is ridiculously beautiful, Big Sur, CA


White sand beach in Carmel, CA


Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, CA



Nico and his muffin, Pacific Grove, CA



Kickin it with Dora at the hotel room, Asilomar conference center



King of the mountain, Asilomar State Beach



My feet in the sand, Asilomar



Me and one of my favorite dudes, Asilomar State Beach


Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I know, I know. That one looks phallic.


Ben looks good in blue.



Beautiful light in the ice cream shop, Carmel, CA



I’m a California girl.

I grew up near Santa Cruz and since my parents owned a retail store in Carmel, I spent many a weekend wandering in and out of the boutiques and rolling down the white sand hills of Carmel beach. My sister and I used to pretend we were elevator operators at the old I. Magnin department store and gather tips that we would later spend on candy and toys around town.

I haven’t been back in many years but this time I saw this part of California with brand new, grown-up eyes. It is amazing. The beauty of the Big Sur coastline is almost hard to wrap your head around… the wild coast, the big rocks, the turquoise water. Crazy beautiful.

For any of you looking for a gorgeous little family adventure, I highly recommend the little 3- day tour we did:

Thursday: Stayed at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove and played at Asilomar State Beach.
Friday: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Big Sur, Pfeiffer Beach, back to Pacific Grove
Saturday: Drove to Santa Cruz and played with friends and went to the tide pools at Pleasure Point
Sunday: Home

Highlights of our trip: Seeing the jellies, the white sand beach of Carmel, every beach we went to, watching movies in the hotel room, seeing old friends in Santa Cruz

Low point: Nico climbing up onto the desk of our hotel room and pooping (+ peeing) on Matt’s laptop.

All in all it was an awesome vacation. I completely fell in love with California again. Such a beautiful place to live!


Let’s retreat! October 4h-6th, 2013

Let’s hang out in real life!

I’m beyond thrilled to announce a LIVE in-person workshop coming up in October!

Opening the Creative Channel is a gathering of kindred spirits who will share stories, gorgeous food + creative exercises. We’ll write, we’ll pull out cameras and pens, we’ll put words to paper, play with color and even take a field trip, all in the service of opening the creative channel and waking up our intuition so we can hear the sound of our own music. Only 20 lucky peeps!

I’ll be collaborating with my dear friend and writing teacher, Laurie Wagner. Besides being a great teacher, Laurie is also a coach, author of 7 books, a mixed media artist and a mother of two. She is also one of the kindest + wisest people I know. It will be love at first sight, promise.

Here are the details:

When: October 4th- October 6th, 2013 October 11th -13th  Saturday and Sunday
9:30-4:30pm each day.
Bonus: Friday evening we’ll meet up in for an opening circle + tea + cookies

Where: Laurie Wagner’s gorgeous home in Alameda, CA (close to SF + Oakland) See photo above…Doesn’t it make you want to pull up a chair and a make a friend?

What: A gathering of kindred spirits for sharing stories, gorgeous food, and creative exercises.  We’ll write, we’ll pull out cameras and pens, we’ll put words on paper, play with color and take a field trip to a magical place, all in the service of awakening our intuition and our joy.

Easy Peasy: No previous experience or expertise required. We are not here to create brilliant art. This workshop is about opening ourselves to the creative channel that lives inside each of us, and which, when we tune into it, allows us to hear the sound of our own music, find our authentic words and ultimately be free to live with more creativity, intuition and joy. You just need to bring an open heart + a willingness to share.

Your guides: Andrea Scher + Laurie Wagner

Who: Only 20 lucky peeps! Register now!

Cost: $450 This includes Friday evening + all day Saturday and Sunday. Catered lunch is provided + all the coffee, tea + snacks your heart desires. Plus, 20 of the most lovely humans you just met!

Why: Because we’re so much more alive when we’re turned to the channel of our own intuitive magic. To connect with other women in a fun, cozy and creative environment.

Refund Policy: The bottom line is we want to play with YOU! If it turns out your plans change, please know that your ticket is non-refundable, but you can always transfer it to a friend.

Where to stay? Any hotel in SF, Oakland or Alameda will be great. We’re happy to send over some suggestions.

We promise: Deep connection, creative play + lots of laughter. We hope to have you!

UPDATE: 2 spots are now available for October 4th- 6th.

We have sold out for October 11th-13th

To register for the weekend of October 4th – 6th, click the Register button below!






5 healers who have made a difference in my life.

heart in the sand, Manzanita, OR

Right now I’m listening to my Angel session with Laurel from Illuminating Souls. Laurel and I met through SARK several years ago and then reconnected at WDS last year in Portland. Recently, I couldn’t get her out of my mind and knew I needed to book a session with her. It was quite extraordinary and I am still taking it all in. She gave me deep insight about my guides + my work in the world. Thank you Laurel!

Although I have cultivated a strong intuition and trust it deeply, I often feel lost + confused. Especially when I am in a transition. That’s when I reach out to one of the many talented healers that I know. I always leave feeling empowered and clear, hopeful and strong, confident that everything is unfolding perfectly. It’s a great source of comfort and an important part of my creative process.

Since I know so many talented people in this realm, I want to share them with you:

1. Angel readings from Laurel Bleadon-Maffei at Illuminating Souls. She channels angels. How awesome is that?

2. My longtime spiritual advisor Lauren Miller. I have been having sessions with Lauren by phone for over 15 years — since we met in New Orleans in 1995. She is kind + wise + highly intuitive. She has guided me through many passages in my life. 985-727-0071

3. Theresa Reed (aka The Tarot Lady): I had my first reading with Theresa last year and was super impressed. She works fast and gives you great insights about where you are in your life and what’s coming. I highly recommend her!

4. Bodywork with Satyam: If you live in the Bay Area, you are in luck! Satyam works out of her studio in Mill Valley and is one of the most incredible bodyworkers/healers I have ever known. She gets all of her information from your body — your body will literally tell her what is going on with you spiritually/emotionally and otherwise.  She is clairvoyant + wise, nurturing and insightful. A spiritual reading while you are getting a full body massage. What could be better? 415-302-0497

5. Cowrie shell divining with Mbali Creazzo: The book 29 Gifts is about Cami Walker who, at 30 years old, could barely walk and discovered she had MS. During a long, difficult depression that followed, Cami spoke to a shaman (a neighbor who happend to live next door) The shaman gave her an unusual prescription — she told her to give something away every day for 29 days. Cami did and it transformed her life completely — both physically and spiritually. It even launched a whole giving movement.

Inspired by this book, I went to see the shaman — Mbali Creazzo. Our session was very much outside of my realm (more woo-woo than I usually go) but at the time I needed a type of healing that bypassed my intellect. A healing that was so outside my realm I couldn’t even begin to understand it. She rolled cowrie shells and spoke to my ancestors. They gave me messages. They told me exactly what I needed to hear. I left her house feeling lighter than I had in years. I still don’t quite understand what happened in there, but I trust Mbali.

What healers + intuitives do you have in your pocket?

Let us know in the comments below.



The magic wishbone + how we really get our wishes.

Michelle Allen, Leigh Standley and Flora Bowley, Manzanita, OR

Recently, I attended a miraculous weekend retreat with a group of friends. We spent five days sharing stories, making collaborative paintings, taking gorgeous beach walks and coaching each other around our businesses + creative work.

We called it the “Radiate Sessions.”

Each person had a turn bringing something to the group they needed support with or guidance around. We created a loving circle around them and radiated pure possibility (plus all of our best collective wisdom) straight from our hearts to theirs. Whether it was your turn or not, you were transformed. Whatever medicine was being offered was somehow just what the rest of us needed too.

Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose McDonough

We ate a lot of cheese, Kelly Rae, Flora, Mati, Hannah, Jess, Michelle

Photos at the magic hour are a requirement for any retreat, Manzanita, OR

Photography lesson by Vivienne McMaster

This retreat was incredibly heart-opening for me. The kind where you feel cracked open in the best way… crying lots of cathartic tears and expressing the most tender parts of your soul. While I feared that Zoloft would numb me out, it has done quite the opposite – it has calmed me down enough to feel the deeper layers of my heart -the unprocessed grief of the last 6 years, the profound love I have for my family and new hope for what’s possible in the future. My radiate session was about where my work is headed, but what these women really helped me do was open my heart.

The Wishbone

As we left the house on the final morning, we all scrambled to get the sheets in the dryer, the dishes in the washer, and all of our bags packed and out the door. When I did a last scan of the house, I noticed that we had left one thing behind- a wishbone sitting on the kitchen counter.

“Who wants to do the wishbone with me?” I asked.

I haven’t wished on a wishbone since I was a kid, but as Leigh and I put our hands on each side of it I remembered the rules – that when it breaks, whoever gets the bigger piece will get their wish.

“Wait!” I said urgently, concerned that only one of us would get their wish, “Let’s make wishes for each other!”

So Leigh closed her eyes, and I closed mine, and I thought of the most wonderful secret wish for her. As we leaned backwards my worry returned, Oh no! What if she doesn’t get her wish?

At that moment, the wishbone broke. And something miraculous happened.

The center of the wishbone flew into the air, leaving two perfectly even pieces in each of our hands.

We all gasped.

For all the magic of the weekend, the wishbone moment is the one I keep coming back to. And I think it’s because the message was so beautiful and so clear:

That when we want the best for each other, when we don’t want to win if it means someone else will lose, when we know that my joy is yours and your success is mine, we all get our wishes.

And that my friends, is something to celebrate.

P.S. If a retreat like this is calling to you, stay tuned. I was so inspired by this weekend that I am planning my own intimate gathering for the end of September. If you want to be the first to know, email me here: [email protected]



Little adventures: Bodega Bay

Me and Nico at the beach, Bodega Bay

Grant with oysters, Bodega Bay

Nico watching the ocean, Bodega Bay

The kid’s table at dinner on Saturday night, how did we make all these tiny humans?

homemade pasta hanging to dry

Camie and Cenovia, Bodega Bay

Sasha and Talia eating oysters and drinking bloody Marys by the sea

The magic hour in Bodega Bay

Our dear friend Viola turned 40 this weekend and celebrated in the very best way: She rented a beach house for her dearest friends and we all spent the weekend together. It was like pure oxygen. Beach, fog, ocean, good friends, good food, tuna sashimi, homemade pasta, kiddos galore, hilarious conversation. It was SO SO GOOD.

A wise reader right here on this blog said to me recently, “Can you find some time to just goof around? To do something for no good reason? That isn’t productive at all?”

That comment stuck with me and has been tossing around my brain ever since. I have been so focused these days: The launch of the new site, the brand new e-courses, the usual drive and striving and ambition of being a solopreneur. It can all get overwhelming and serious and leave very little room for joy. In an effort to be good and responsible, I haven’t given myself room to take a break. To celebrate. To take pleasure in life and fill up with laughter and joy. I’m taking that reader’s advice and I’m going to build in time to goof around. This weekend was a great beginning.

The Joy Telesummit

Speaking of joy, I was asked to be interviewed for the Joy Telesummit. I said yes (my brave move for the day for Cultivating Courage) but I was nervous. Is she going to ask me how joyful I am? Is she going to ask me to give tips on having a joyful life? Hilariously, I even felt pressure to be joyful on the call with her! and wondered if I would come off as dark or depressed if I was just myself.

On the contrary, this might be my all time favorite interview to date. It was a transformative conversation for me and I hope it will be for you too.

You can stream the interview here. Enjoy!


Niki + Dave’s Santa Cruz wedding

The bride and groom, Aptos, CA

I don’t normally shoot weddings, but I couldn’t resist saying yes when Niki + Dave emailed to ask if I would shoot their small wedding in Aptos- the tiny little beach town where I grew up. It is gorgeous there. Just south of Santa Cruz and full of big beaches where you can walk for miles and miles. I still remember seeing those surfer boys in homeroom with wet mops of hair, salt dried in little beads on their arms from their early morning ocean adventures.

This wedding was unconventional and thoughtful, every detail meaningful and beautifully thought through… All of it infused with love and play. Their spirits were contagious… At one point I found myself thigh deep in the ocean (in my jeans) whooping it up and photographing them.

It was pure pleasure to celebrate with them and I’m excited to share some of their joy with you!

Dave + Niki diving in, Aptos, CA

At the farmer’s market earlier that day getting the bride’s bouquet

The gorgeous bride and groom, Aptos, CA

bride and groom at the ocean, Aptos, CA

Lovely ceremony, officiated by a dear friend, Aptos, CA

Into the sunset they go…



Best. Day. Ever.

The room decorated for our guests

Deep joy

Once, while riding my bike through San Francisco in a gigantic bike parade for a friend’s wedding, I shouted at the top of my lungs, “This is the best day ever!!!” I couldn’t think of any other possible thing I would rather have been doing in that moment. I was giddy, elated, totally content.

This kind of deep joy is rare, and when it comes, it is a huge gift. But that’s how this Sunday was, during the workshop I led with Kelly Rae Roberts at the Teahouse studios.

Best. Day. Ever.

The tables from above, before our guests arrived

It began with a simple conversation. Me, calling my dear friend Kelly and asking her when she would come and teach at the Teahouse. (This is also a ploy to get her back to the bay area for a girl’s weekend) “You and Mati have both been asking me that! but I don’t really want to teach. I just want a good excuse to come see you guys and have a really fun weekend being together.”

So we hatched a scheme… and the plan was simple: We would create the kind of experience we were most craving in our own lives — Connecting with women in deep and real ways. Not on the internet. Not via text or email. The kind where you break bread and tell each other everything. We didn’t want to teach so much as share stories and connect, laugh and cry in equal measure. We wanted minimum preparation, total faith in serendipity and trust that just the right people would show up. We wanted beautiful food and even more delicious conversation.

And guess what? It was beyond our wildest dreams. It really was.

I fell in love with each and every person there. I was blown away by their stories. We laughed a lot and we cried too. We declared our superpowers. We talked about transitions and motherhood. We talked about creativity and vulnerability and finding our tribe. It was open and inspiring, powerful and brave. It was, above all, real.

I learned that if you bring the real, others will too.

Mati Rose painting those beautiful words

We also brought a lot of intention to the day. For every person on the roster, we chose an adjective for their nametag. Since we didn’t know the people who were coming, we had to intuit what they most needed to hear. We made them goodie bags and wrote them love notes. We decorated the space. Mati painted the words, “Show the world you magic” on the wall. We covered the tables in vintage fabrics. We hung up twinkly lights and tied aprons together to hang on the wall. In the end, it was like living inside of a Kelly Rae painting! And all of that prep, it felt like ritual. It felt like connecting with each soul who was coming, before they even arrived.

vintage aprons all in a row

I am still processing all of the goodness packed into that gorgeous day. For me personally, it was also a really important day of discovering my sweet spot with teaching. As I have said on this blog before, I am very anxiety prone. Public speaking gives me panic attacks and I have often wondered if the suffering I experience each and every time (often for months before the event) is worth it. Maybe there is another way?

I think I found my answer.

I teach through telling stories. I can tell a good story! It is in fact one of my superpowers. I’m not interested in giving lectures, being an expert, or giving advice. I want to share my life in a way that sparks something in you — delight, inspiration, a nugget of wisdom. I want to connect with you by showing you my real self.

I didn’t have a panic attack the night before our workshop. (This was a first for me) And I didn’t feel afraid throughout the day. I only felt tremendous gratitude to be someone who got to sit in that circle. It was pure joy, and my body knew it.

Thank you to everyone who showed up this weekend (both for Sunday and for my Saturday photo workshop peeps as well. You guys were so much fun) It was an honor. And we will do it again. I think I found my sweet spot.

Kelly Rae and me


2 ways we can connect in person this spring!

Rainbow buddhas, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Superhero Life Workshop

I will be offering a Superhero Life workshop at Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, CA on Saturday, May 12th. In this daylong workshop, we will connect, have photo adventures and do some life coaching exercises that will get us in touch with (and celebrate) our unique superpowers.

There is more info on this page. But think fun, play, connecting with other creative superheroes and an awesome day of photography.

There are only 20 spots available, so get your ticket today if you know you are in!

Delicious event with me and Kelly Rae Roberts

Sunday, May 13th (the very next day) join me and Kelly Rae Roberts for an afternoon of connection, beautiful food and inspiring conversation! We will come together at the Teahouse in Berkeley for a magical afternoon, a round table of sorts (except the tables will be rectangular) of delicious souls and gorgeous food.

More details are on this page. Only 20 spots available for this special event as well, so swoop em up people!

Note: This event happens to fall on Mother’s Day weekend. If you are a mama in need of a break (what mama isn’t?) this is a great way for your family to celebrate you! Send them this link with a “hint-hint” message. ?

P.S. Register for either (or both) of these events through Teahouse. Click here for the Superhero Life workshop & here for the Kelly Rae/Andrea Scher event.


More photos from San Miguel de Allende Color theme: A splash of red

Veggies in the mercado, San Miguel de Allende

Clouds at the magic hour, San Miguel de Allende

Flora Bowley and Mati Rose

Girls on the Rosewood roof

Me, trying on the scarf I bought for Matt

Pegaso restaurant, San Miguel de Allende

Rusty red stripey wall

Mati on the red wall